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Customers today are more engaged than ever before. The advent of 24/7 online connectivity and social platforms and channels have given consumers the unlimited ability to share their experiences online.
Customers are able to voice their frustrations and sing their praises of companies who either succeed or fail at providing an enjoyable customer experience. This is why it’s all the more important to nurture and develop customer relationships. Customer relationship management (CRM) is the key to driving current and future business success. When done correctly, CRM can:
- Improve sales tracking and productivity.
- Increase customer satisfaction and retention.
- Create more personalised customer engagements.
- Drive profitability.
With this in mind, choosing the right CRM tool for your business is imperative. However, South African businesses are positioned within a unique set of geographical, economic and socio-cultural circumstances that create the South African context.
It’s thus important for businesses in South Africa to consider these factors when selecting the ideal CRM platform.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a CRM Tool
South Africa is undoubtedly one of the most unique countries in the world. Our distinct history and eclectic, multicultural population, on top of our positioning at the bottom of the African continent, help segment our identity and shape our consumer landscape.
This means when it comes to selecting the right platform and tools to build and maintain customer relationships, South African businesses simply can’t follow the same recommendations as businesses in the United States and Europe.
When selecting a CRM tool, businesses in SA should keep the following considerations in mind:
The rand in South Africa is unfortunately volatile and can fluctuate frequently and intensely. This consideration is important, especially if you plan to purchase CRM software in dollars or euros. If you do, make sure the benefits and features are definitely worth the potentially fluctuating price.
Growth potential in South Africa
Another important consideration is the current and potential growth in the use of the CRM platform you choose. A platform that is more renowned and in wider use in South Africa will make it easier to source employees trained and talented in using that CRM platform, and upskill new and current staff.
Local support and implementation
A CRM tool has numerous features and capabilities that span departments and require in-depth knowledge and understanding of its functionality. The tool needs to have local implementation partners for rollout, consultation and maintenance.
For instance, CloudSmiths is one of the largest Salesforce implementation partners in South Africa, having completed more than 300 Salesforce implementations in businesses across the country.
South Africa’s location means that it’s several hours behind Asia and several hours ahead of the United States and Canada. This can be both a pro and a con, depending on the CRM tool you opt for. If you experience any troubleshooting issues with the platform you might need to contact a support centre located overseas.
A centre based in the US or Canada might still be able to help you resolve things quickly, as they would still be operating (depending on the time) but a centre located east means you may only be able to resolve things the following day, which could impact sales and revenue.
Despite offering many advanced features, a CRM tool should still have a relatively simple and user-friendly interface. Remember that it will be used by different team members in different departments, so the platform needs to be accessible to every employee across the board.
Your business size should be a primary consideration of the CRM platform you opt for. Employee headcount and role help determine the CRM functionality required, and the CRM type and size that will be most suitable.
How relevant the CRM tool is should also play a role. Some CRM platforms have kept up with trends while others haven’t.
Cloud-based capabilities are especially important for enabling remote access from anywhere in the world, while integrations with workflow tools like Slack and Google Suite help leverage faster, more efficient data transfers.
Core Features to Look for in a CRM Tool
- Lead and contact management
- Opportunity logging and tracking
- Marketing campaign management and tracking
- Email marketing
- Customer segmentation and targeting
- Quoting capabilities
- Customer support and service
- Reporting and analytics
Salesforce: The World’s #1 CRM Platform
Salesforce is a CRM platform that offers businesses a 360° view of their customers through their Customer 360 platform, enabling businesses to create and nurture relationships with customers at every stage of the sales cycle.
As the established leader in the CRM industry, Salesforce is undoubtedly the preferred CRM platform for customer-centric business growth, evidenced by its widespread implementation and projected growth in South Africa. Having the right implementation partner at your side for an effortless Salesforce rollout within your organisation is essential for long-term success and maximum results.
CloudSmiths is one of the largest, multi-award winning Salesforce partners in South Africa. Having extensive experience in Salesforce implementation, consultation and management, we’re equipped to handle the digital transformation of any enterprise, regardless of size and number.
We offer a full suite of Salesforce services, including training, support and development capabilities.